Date: , 1976
Cowlitz county, WA
Nearest town: Deming
Nearest road: Rutsack Road
Location: Ape Canyon, at the end of Rutsack Rd. on Mt St Helens. About two miles down Rutsack Road after the road ends.
Description of event: My girlfriend and I used to live in a teepee near this road. We had friends who were loggers, and also knew quite a few local Indians. At night you could easily hear the calls of sasquatches. They sound sort of like a wolf, but more mournful, and quite chilling to hear. (I used to be a trapper in Montana in high school and know the sounds of wolves, coyotes and mountain lions. It wasn't any of those). When we first heard them, the Indians would just shrug and say it was the sasquatch that live in (what was locally called) Ape Canyon. They (the sasquatch) had been there forever. The Indians knew all about them, and warned us that the creatures didn't like people to go into their area, so the Indians steered clear. Of course, that made me want to go camping there, which I did one weekend, with my girlfriend.
Ape Canyon was at the end of Rutsack Road, near Deming, WA. We parked at the end of the road and hiked about two miles into the canyon. Everything was fine. I didn't find any tracks, but we had fun looking. It wasn't oppressive at all. When it got dark we crawled into the tent and went to sleep. I don't know waht the time was when we awoke with a start. It was pitch black. Outside of the tent we heard at least two, maybe three, voices kind of hooting and grunting, all around the tent.There was a terrible smell like wet garbage. I opened the tent flap and looked around, but couldn't see anything (there wasn't any moon that night). However, I could still hear the grunts and heavy footsteps. They seemed to be very close to the tent, but also quite a ways off into the woods at the same time. I wanted to stick it out and see what happened but my girlfriend was getting scared. I ducked back in the tent and we waited a while longer. As soon as I got back in, the footsteps and grunts were very loud and very close, all around us. The grunts seemed a lot more menacing. We finally decided we couldn't take it anymore, and with just a flashlight and the clothes we were wearing, we opened the tent, waved the flashlight wildly around, and ran the two miles back to our car in the complete darkness. I don't know how we didn't trip, but when you're scared, you can do a lot of things. We stayed in the car the rest of the night and cautiously went back to the campground when it was light. Nothing seemed to have been disturbed. I made a quick look for footprints, but the ground was dry. We didn't hang around long. I told my Indian friends about it. They said "We told you they don't like people going in their canyon." I was 19 at the time.
record updated:2004-04-07 00:00:00